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Washtub Cello
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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The Modesto Kid
South Orange, NJ
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December 26, 2018 - 11:55 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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44523902395_70983e6747_b.jpg

I spent the last half of the year designing and making a cello with a steel washtub for its body. I carved the neck and scroll from hard maple; the fingerboard (boxwood) was taken from an old broken cello, as was the soundpost; the strings and components such as pegs, tailpiece, bridge are standard cello components mostly bought from my local violin shop or online.

I kept pretty extensive notes and pictures at my blog -- http://readin.com/blog/?projec.....o&o=a will take you to the first page, and there are links at the bottom of each page for "More posts". Check it out! I'm happy to answer any questions about the washtub cello.

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Shane "Chicken" Wang
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December 27, 2018 - 11:52 am
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Welcome to the forum. Are you sure you're not from East Tennessee? That would big a mega hit over there. Absolutely love it! Great job.

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The Modesto Kid
South Orange, NJ
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December 27, 2018 - 12:33 pm
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Thanks! Nope, I'm from NJ and before that, Modesto, California. I do play the "East Tennessee Blues" though... 🙂

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Irv
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December 27, 2018 - 2:38 pm
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Hello @@The Modesto Kid.  I would appreciate a photo of the back side of your cello.  I assume there is some sort of “dowel stick” (to use a banjo term) from the neck heel to the end peg to absorb the load imposed by string tension.  In your blog, you reference the use of a sound post.  What takes the load from the bass side of bridge?  If the round wash pail shape was not used to take load (if a dowel stick was used), could an oval pail be substituted for more ergonomic use?

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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The Modesto Kid
South Orange, NJ
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December 27, 2018 - 2:55 pm
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Hi Irv, yes I use a dowel run through the body of the wash tub. Here is a picture of the inside of the tub (there is a plywood back which is not attached here) -- 44552024041_3b1fa4f24a.jpg

The soundpost runs from the bass foot of the bridge to the dowel surface, it does not go all the way to the back of the cello.

I think an oval tub would work fine.

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Irv
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December 27, 2018 - 3:08 pm
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Continuing with the banjo comparison, does an air space exist between the plywood back and the tub sides (like a banjo resonator)?  If so, of what use are the rib “f holes?”

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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The Modesto Kid
South Orange, NJ
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December 27, 2018 - 3:17 pm
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There is no air space around the plywood back. I'm not sure if the "f hole" is actually necessary, I just thought it would look cool :). I was originally going to leave the back open, but the sound is better with the back on it.

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Irv
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December 27, 2018 - 3:34 pm
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The possibilities here are endless.  I just saw a 42 inch oval with relatively shallow sides  (say, a 3/4 double bass) and a smaller oval made out of copper (a real looker but a little heavy at eight pounds).

Makes me want to bow on a steel hand saw as an accompaniment.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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Irv
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December 27, 2018 - 3:49 pm
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33D75654-43E3-4D8E-A8CC-2CCA5F933B65.jpegPicture this (42” x 24” oval) with two front mounted guitar type metal resonators as a string bass.  Every blue grass band in the country would want one.  And with the use of a dowel, it would be possible to disconnect the neck for travel.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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December 27, 2018 - 4:06 pm
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Small contrabass, anyone?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 28, 2018 - 6:54 pm
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Very cool project Modesto Kid. Thanks for sharing it.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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